Public-supply wells sometimes produce water of less than desirable quality because contaminants can migrate to the open interval of wells through preferential pathways. If these pathways can be identified, zones that produce poor quality water can be excluded during the well-construction process. The U.S. Geological Survey has developed geophysical testing methods that can be used to delineate zones of high permeability in test wells. Once the highly permeable zones are identified, water-quality data can be collected from each zone to identify whether any of the zones produce water of poor quality. The zones producing poor quality water can then be cased off in the final well design so that they do not contribute flow to the production well, reducing subsequent water-treatment costs.
A test well was drilled by the City of Tallahassee to assess the suitability of the site for the installation of a new well for public water supply. The test well is in Leon County in north-central Florida. The U.S. Geological Survey delineated high-permeability zones in the Upper Floridan aquifer, using borehole-geophysical data collected from the open interval of the test well. A composite water sample was collected from the open interval during high-flow conditions, and three discrete water samples were collected from specified depth intervals within the test well during low-flow conditions. Water-quality, source tracer, and age-dating results indicate that the open interval of the test well produces water of consistently high quality throughout its length. The cavernous nature of the open interval makes it likely that the highly permeable zones are interconnected in the aquifer by secondary porosity features.
|Title||Depth-dependent groundwater quality sampling at City of Tallahassee test well 32, Leon County, Florida, 2013|
|Authors||W. Scott McBride, Michael A. Wacker|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Open-File Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|